Today I’m giving you a chance to learn more about Bielefeld, Germany’s punk scene and its root representatives known as SOULS FOR SALE! After putting out 3 demos (2007-2008) and one EP (“All My Favorite Love Songs Are By Cannibal Corpse” (2010)), they hare back with their debut album “Scavengers”, recorded at the Tonmeisterei Oldenburg and available via WOOAAARGH, Olympus Mons and Puzzle Records.
Taste their down-tuned heavy metallic hardcore driven by crushing, yet melodic riffs, all packed up in this impressive release, and learn more about it in the interview below.
Hey, guys! What’s up? Could you please introduce the band for IDIOTEQ readers?
Sure. We are SOULS FOR SALE from a city called Bielefeld in the Northwest of Germany. We play hardcore with a predominant rock and metal edge … or as a friend put it some time ago: metal affected hardcore still spelled p-u-n-k.
Ha! So what does punk mean to you, huh?
Most of us grew up listening to punk rock music since their early teens … Punk is a way to approach things. We are no pro musicians, just 5 friends playing in their DIY band, where creativity, self expression and fun will always come before a clean playing technique …
You’ve recently released your debut album ‘Scavengers’. Tell us a bit about the feedback you’ve got so far.
Up to now the feedback has been amazing … At first we weren’t sure how reactions would be, since Scavengers has become a quite versatile record. To our mind it definitely has its own character, because it combines a broad range of musical influences.
Talking to friends and reading reviews it seems like people rather enjoy the diversity: They say that the record doesn’t get boring when you listen to it as a whole, and that it still grows with every time you spin it. Apart from that we love the fact that people from different backgrounds show interest in our music. There are hardcore kids, punks and metal heads alike …
How did you release it? Where can we get it?
We released Scavengers in various formats on the label WOOAAARGH in collaboration with Olympus Mons and Puzzle records. It comes on colored vinyl with an additional CD, as a plain CD or as a limited cassette tape edition.
Who did you record it with? What people from outside the band helped you out with the production process?
For recording we went to the Tonmeisterei in Oldenburg / Germany, mixing and mastering was done there as well. We first did the basic tracks with Robin, for overdubs, vocals, additional sound effects etc. we hooked up with Role in a second session. Role also mixed and mastered our record afterwards …
Apart from that the former roommate of our singer Flo helped us to prepare some samples. You can actually hear his voice pitched low at the beginning of the song Zielenvisserij. :) That guy also releases some nice experimental electronic music under the moniker Sieren. If you are into that kind of sound, you should definetely check out his stuff.
Also Tobi did a great job in hanging around and emptying cans of Faxe with us.
The LP looks amazing. Who designed it?
Our singer Flo did the whole artwork. It was quite a long run from the first drafts to the final version and he put a large amount of effort into this. We all think that he should be very damn proud of his work.
Flo is by no means a professional graphic designer, but he has been doing some photography editing for years.
You should make him gold :)
How about the cassette? How did you come up with the idea? Do people really use this format in 2013?
Seems like some people are still using it, actually. Probably for nostalgia and fun reasons … Apart from that cassette tapes are cheap to produce and to sell. From time to time we see bands providing their music on tape at shows, however.
Our tape was done by a guy named Wayne. He plays in BURT, a grindcore band from Saarbrücken, and has his own tape label called Puzzle Records. He offered to release our album on cassette and we liked the idea. Just recently Dearth Records from the U.S. asked us, if we were interested in a tape release of our first EP ‘ALL MY FAVORITE LOVE SONGS ARE BY CANNIBAL CORPSE’ and we were just like ‘yeah cool, let’s do it’. So you see: It’s hard to believe, but there are still some people around in 2013 with an interest in old school tape releases. :)
How would you define some of the biggest differences between the new album and your debut EP? How does it look like from your point of view?
Probably all in all the new material is a bit more serious and more mature …
The first EP was more fun oriented, you already remark that by it’s cover and by it’s title “All My Favorite Love Songs Are By Cannibal Corpse”. In comparison to the new album the music was a bit more thrash metal influenced. We first started out as a mere fun project, in the very beginning we even wore funny outfits on stage. The first EP somehow marked something like an endpoint to that first phase as a band.
Also the sound of the new record is different. It has a bit more grit and dirt to it.
And how does the introduction of a new drummer impact on the band dynamics?
We definitely have been very lucky that Sushi took the seat behind the drum kit. He has been playing for years and has a very powerful and in your face drumming style. Apart from that his playing is also quite creative.
Maybe the best thing is that half of the band has known him like forever. He is not just the new drummer, he is a longtime friend. So you could say that he let’s us sound more dynamic and that he has a good influence on the dynamics within the band at the same time …
You had your record release show at the ‘More Than Music – Antifascist Benefit Festival’ on at AJZ Bielefeld. How was it?
It was big fun and also quite exciting: The days before the show we got increasingly nervous, since we weren’t sure, if our records would be sent early enough from the press plant. We already made plans to sell pickled gherkins with mustard instead, if the records wouldn’t have been there the other day…
Fortunately the vinyls arrived just in time and the AJZ was packed with people when we went on stage. For our new drummer Sushi It was the first gig in SOULS FOR SALE and he really did an amazing job. After we were finished we hung out and watched the other bands play. We especially enjoyed to see MAN LIFTING BANNER, a legend straight edge hardcore band from The Netherlands, who played a very energetic set that night.
The festival itself was a great success. It went for two days with 11 bands playing in total and after both concerts there was party all night long … Apart from that the locals of PATSY O HARA released their brandnew LP plus KISHOTE presented their debut EP at their first gig.
Thanks to all the people who came out to the shows and parties!!! The money made that nights is a great back up for the Anti-Fascist Action.
Great! Do you get a lot of shows like this in your neighborhood? Tell me more about Bielefeld and its music scene.
Yes, we have cool shows around here from time to time. Much revolves around the AJZ Bielefeld with it’s various groups organizing different kinds of concerts and parties. Sure there are some other spots as well like the Forum, some bars and stuff.
The music scene is quite versatile here, too many bands to name … You see the people when you go out at night, meet them at a show or you play shows together with the bands they are in. Right now we plan our next weekend trips with two killer bands from our hometown both definitely worth to check them out: MAYAK and HYENA.
How does the place you come from determine you as a band? What features of the city seep into your foundations?
All the guys in the band except for Jörg were born and raised in the area around Bielefeld and have known each other since they were teenagers. Sure this determines our sense of humor and how we deal with each other etc.
Features of the city, well let’s see … maybe boredom, neglect, mediocrity and depression? Bielefeld is just a normal German city, that’s all. If we were from Hamburg or Cologne everything would probably be similar like it is now. Maybe we would rehearse even less, since we had more opportunities to go out and waste our time … :)
Ok, let’s move beyond SOULS FOR SALE. What other bands have you made work for?
Floris and Sushi played together in a metallic hardcore band called WHAT NEVER DIES. Sushi also played in FROM A FRIEND and the pop punk band BRIGHTON DAYS. Jörg and our former bass player Jan both were in MARJORIE before joining SOULS FOR SALE, which was more like chaotic emo violence music. Christian played in GETAWAY DRIVERS, a melodic hardcore band.
All of those bands officially dissolved or haven’t been active in years …
Do you live a quiet life in Bielefeld when not into this band? :)
Very very quiet actually: We lay in our coffins waiting for the next gig to play and to get some fresh young blood … ;)
Ok, before I let you go, let’s answer a couple of random questions ;)
What are some of the best things about the German DIY punk scene?
All in all it works: There are quite many venues and people spread around the country, who make a lot of things happen. Without the scene Germany would be more of a dry steppe.
Tell us, which stereotypes German people have about Poles do you think are really true? ;)
We don’t like stereotypes and prejudice … But probably most people from Poland can bear more shots of vodka than us. ;)
Fair enough, haha! :)
Do you know quite a lot about our punk scenes? What Polish bands are you familiar with?
There are only a few that occur to me, unfortunately. First there is THE FIGHT who played in Bielefeld a couple of years ago. Very nice people, powerful play, a great band! Recently I stumbled upon DRIP OF LIES. When it comes to bands from Poland also such big metal acts like BEHEMOTH or VADER come to mind …
Ok, guys :)What else should we know about you? Feel free to add anything you like.
It would be damn great to rock out in Poland sooner than never … So all you wonderful people out there, please get in touch!!! :)
Thanks so much for your time. Best regards from Warsaw.
We have to thank you, it was a pleasure!
Live pic by Patrick Rosing.